nep-soc New Economics Papers
on Social Norms and Social Capital
Issue of 2012‒02‒01
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Friends’ Networks and Job Finding Rates By Lorenzo Cappellari; Konstantinos Tatsiramos
  2. Ethnic Networks and Employment Outcomes By Eleonora Patacchini; Yves Zenou
  3. Work Values in Western and Eastern Europe By Benno Torgler
  4. Importing Corruption Culture from Overseas: Evidence from Corporate Tax Evasion in the United States By Jason M. DeBacker; Bradley T. Heim; Anh Tran
  5. Parallel Lives: Social Comparison Across National Boundaries By Jonathan White
  6. Strong, bold, and kind: Self-control and cooperation in social dilemmas By Martin G. Kocher; Peter Martinsson; Kristian Ove R. Myrseth; Conny Wollbrant
  7. Solidarity, responsibility and group identity By Costard, Jano; Bolle, Friedel
  8. An Uninterpreted Spatial Version of the Trust Game: Evidence of Reciprocity without Suggestive Words, Evidence of Iterated Dominance Self-Taught By Talbot Page; Louis Putterman
  9. Who helps whom? Risk taking and solidarity in a virtual world experiment By Lübbe, Ingmar; Bolle, Friedel

  1. By: Lorenzo Cappellari; Konstantinos Tatsiramos
    Abstract: Social interactions are believed to have important consequences for labor market outcomes. Yet the growing literature has been forced to rely on indirect definitions of a network. We present what we believe to be the first evidence that is able to use direct information on the role of close friends. In doing so, we address issues of correlated effects with instrumental variables and panel data. Our estimates suggest that there are large effects from friendship networks, which persist even after controlling for family networks. One additional employed friend increases a person’s job finding probability by approximately 13 percent. This is a result of endogenous social interactions. By testing among alternative mechanisms, our study provides the first evidence that network effects seem to be due to information transmission rather than to social norms or leisure complementarities.
    Keywords: Social Interactions; Unemployment; Friendship ties
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Eleonora Patacchini (Universita  di Roma "La Sapienza", EIEF and CEPR); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between residential proximity of individuals from the same ethnic group and the probability of finding a job through social networks, relative to other search methods. Using individual-level data from the UK Labour Force survey and spatial statistics techniques, we find that (i) the higher is the percentage of a given ethnic group living nearby, the higher is the probability of finding a job through social contacts; (ii) this effect decays very rapidly with distance. The magnitude, statistical significance and spatial decay of such an effect differ depending on the ethnic group considered. We provide an interpretation of our findings using the network model of Calvó-Armengol and Jackson (2004).
    Keywords: Ethnic minorities, population density, social interactions, weak and strong ties,spatial statistics.
    JEL: A14 C21 J15 R12 R23
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Benno Torgler (The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, research fellows of CREMA – Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland and associated with CESifo)
    Abstract: The paper reports on work values in Europe. At the country level we find that job satisfaction is related to lower working hours, higher well-being, and a higher GDP per capita. Moving to the micro level, we turn our attention from job satisfaction to analyse empirically work centrality and work value dimensions (without exploring empirically job satisfaction) related to intrinsic and extrinsic values, power and social elements. The results indicate substantial differences between Eastern and Western Europe. Socio-demographic factors, education, income, religiosity and religious denomination are significant influences. We find additional differences between Eastern and Western Europe regarding work-leisure and work-family centrality that could be driven by institutional conditions. Furthermore, hierarchical cluster analyses report further levels of dissimilarity among European countries.
    Keywords: Work Values, Job Satisfaction, Work-Leisure Relationship, Work-Family Centrality, Eastern Europe, Western Europe
    JEL: P20 D10 J28 J17 J22
    Date: 2011–12
  4. By: Jason M. DeBacker; Bradley T. Heim; Anh Tran
    Abstract: This paper studies how cultural norms and enforcement policies influence illicit corporate activities. Using confidential IRS audit data, we show that corporations with owners from countries with higher corruption norms engage in higher amounts of tax evasion in the U.S. This effect is strong for small corporations and decreases as the size of the corporation increases. In the mid-2000s, the United States implemented several enforcement measures which significantly increased tax compliance. However, we find that these enforcement efforts were less effective in reducing tax evasion by corporations whose owners are from countries with higher corruption norms. This suggests that cultural norms can be a challenge to legal enforcement.
    JEL: D73 H25 M14
    Date: 2012–01
  5. By: Jonathan White
    Abstract: The paper presents a distinctive approach to cross-border ties between Europeans. In place of the standard focus on identity or trust, it recommends the study of practices of social comparison, understood as how citizens evoke relevant others for the purpose of situating and evaluating their experiences. The first section offers a conceptual analysis of social comparison, building on and extending social-psychological accounts. The second section shows how the emergence of the European Union presents new opportunities for social comparison. By generating diverse social encounters, new information resources, and an extension in the scope of common legislation, it invites citizens to compare their daily experiences with those of people further afield and to evoke reference groups outside their country of residence. The third section looks at the political significance of these emergent practices, be it for the perception of injustice, the sense of personal misfortune, or the development of new forms of cross-national subjecthood.
    Date: 2012–01
  6. By: Martin G. Kocher (Department of Economics, University of Munich); Peter Martinsson (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg); Kristian Ove R. Myrseth (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Conny Wollbrant (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: We develop a model relating self-control, risk preferences and conflict identification to cooperation patterns in social dilemmas. We subject our model to data from an experimental public goods game and a risk experiment, and we measure conflict identification and self-control. As predicted, we find a robust association between self-control and higher levels of cooperation, and the association is weaker for more risk-averse individuals. Free riders differ from other contributor types only in their tendency not to have identified a self-control conflict in the first place. Our model accounts for the data at least as well as do other models.
    Keywords: self-control, cooperation, public good, risk, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03 H40
    Date: 2012–01–19
  7. By: Costard, Jano; Bolle, Friedel
    Abstract: In the Solidarity Game (Selten and Ockenfels, 1998) lucky winners of a lottery can transfer part of their income to unlucky losers. Will losers get smaller transfers if they can be assumed to be (partly) responsible for their zero income because they have chosen riskier lotteries (Trhal and Radermacher, 2009)? Or will risk-lovers and risk-averters develop group identity feelings, leading to larger transfers within, rather than between, the groups (Chen and Li, 2009, for charitable transfers between and within otherwise defined groups)? In an experiment we find behavior to be guided by in-group favoritism. Responsibility for self-inflicted neediness does not seem to play an important role. In-group/out-group behavior is successfully described by a variant of a social utility function suggested by Cappelen et al. (2010). --
    Keywords: risky behavior,group identity,solidarity
    JEL: D3 D8
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Talbot Page; Louis Putterman
    Abstract: In this working paper we report on two trust games: a BDM-like game which is interpreted through its use of the possibly suggestive words “show up fee,” “sends,” “tripled,” “send back”; and an uninterpreted spatial game that does not use these words suggestive or not. In the spatial game we found a considerable amount of reciprocity, which implies the words are not necessary for reciprocity. For further comparison we designed the two games to have a correspondence relation (the relation extends to the original BDM trust game). We focused on two “variables” – interpreted or uninterpreted and spatial or word-based. We also designed “constants” which were identical or near identical in the two games. We did this to reduce confounding in statistical comparisons. We found the frequency of reciprocity in the spatial game, without the suggestive words, was about the same as the frequency of reciprocity in the BDM-like game, with the suggestive words. We found iterated dominance in the spatial game was 5.5 times higher than in the BDM-like game. And we found sending the full endowment was significantly more frequent in the BDM-like game than in the spatial game.
    Keywords: #
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Lübbe, Ingmar; Bolle, Friedel
    Abstract: Most incomes underlie some risk, i.e. ex ante they can be regarded as a lottery ticket. In every society, the lucky winners of this lottery compensate unlucky losers (unemployed workers or bankrupt entrepreneurs) privately and/or by public insurances. Do voluntary solidarity payments depend on the amount and origin of risk of winners and losers? We differentiate between people with riskless incomes (civil servants), with low risk incomes (workers), and with high risk incomes (entrepreneurs). Some of our subjects had no choice of their risk class (civil servants and some workers), some of them had the choice to be a worker or an entrepreneur. The main stylized results are: (i) Civil servants and lucky workers with and without a choice transfer similar shares of their income to unlucky workers, but (ii) discriminate against unlucky entrepreneurs. (iii) Lucky entrepreneurs give about the same share of their income to unlucky workers as lucky workers do and (iv) do not significantly discriminate. (v) The potential solidarity payments are not an incentive for taking higher risks. --
    Keywords: solidarity,responsibility,risk taking
    JEL: D63 D64
    Date: 2011

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